This summer I had quite the shock when I discovered that my son’s peers could actually influence his reading choices at the tender age of eight. Clothes were already an issue, but poor, naïve me didn’t realize book characters also radiate a sense of coolness or lameness among the younger set. My world tipped when my darling son made the statement, “Harry Potter’s lame. Insert name of cool neighbor kid here said so.”
Upon hearing this, I began to sputter, ask questions rapidly, and get really, really defensive. Things like, “How do you know? Have you read Harry Potter? What makes cool neighbor kid an expert on Harry Potter? Harry Potter is soooo not lame,” all began to fly at my poor, defenseless son who really had no logical reply. I don’t count, “Because he’s 12!” as a logical reply, at least not yet anyway.